Commentary on Alabama Law and Society

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Location: Birmingham, Alabama

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

It Would Be Easy

To answer Roy Moore's charge that Bob Riley has forsaken basic Republican principles by saying you must first have principles before you can forsake them. But that would be too cynical.

Nevertheless, as I listen to the various candidate's rhetoric, and skim through their websites, I get the impression that none of the major party candidates really have principles. Now, I do not mean they are loose living, unethical people, I mean I just don't get the sense that any of them have a consistent government philosophy. They all have views on particular issues, but I do not see any theory tying those views together. Take Mr. Moore for an example, what theory explains his opposition to PAC money, his desire to acknowledge God in government, and his opposition to constitutional reform?

In my mind, this is a problem because it makes the candidate somewhat unpredictable. If I do not know what the candidate's general political philosophy is, I do not know how she will decide issues other than those mentioned in the campaign. Nor do I know whether or not I will agree with those positions.

That she appears to have a philosophy is one reason I could (if allowed) vote for Loretta Nall. Unless I am missing something, her starting point in political debates is: When it comes to government, less is more. The fewer government regulations of personal and economic interests, the better.

I probably do not agree with all the outcomes produced by that philosophy, but it provides predictability. I can at least make an educated guess on what her views will be on new issues. Furthermore, because I find the philosophy generally persuasive, I will probably agree with her positions more often than not.